In the slew of video game news that hit with the Electronic Entertainment Expo, it would be easy to have missed a game like Chicory: A Colorful Tale. Created by Finji, the paint-and-puzzle 2D platformer released on June 10 for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
On its face, Chicory promises players a blank canvas of a world that the main character is tasked with restoring to its original colorful nature. Well, within reason and whatever color palette you happen to be on.
The story dives more into the Brush, a sacred tool used by a long line of Wielders, and its history therein. Players are saddled with the brush suddenly by the previous Wielder, and must learn what exactly is responsible for the world being drained of color.
The gameplay itself is fairly simple: players can pilot the main character through a 2D side-scrolling map, color in any surface of the screen and navigate through puzzles to forge a path forward. As players level up their brush, more abilities become available to allow for more paths to be taken.
Sidequests are also spotted throughout Chicory’s charming run. Easy enough for completionists to find, but not detrimental to the game’s progress whatsoever. Even more so appreciated was the sheer level of detailed options available in the Settings. Features like eye-strain filter (thank you!), reduction of flashing patterns, in-game content warnings, and more are made available to help curate the experience for all players as they wish. There is also a co-op mode but that was not played as part of this review.
It’s the story that shines a lot for Chicory, as the dialogue carries a lot of heart and humor. Despite the cast being animal characters named largely after food items, many of them come off as more relatable than not. Subjects such as imposter syndrome, burnout, and depression are all touched upon somehow through the dialogue, but in meaningful ways that didn’t feel hamfisted.
The charming but not overly cheesy plot in Chicory is truly the cherry on top for the simplistic, but fun gameplay. The boss fights carry some challenge to them, the puzzles are comfortably medium difficulty, and its run time is more than suitable at around 10 hours. Paired with an upbeat and even, at times, cozy soundtrack, Chicory plays like a cup of hot cocoa on a rainy day.
Chicory is an easy recommendation because of its very nature. It’s chill, fun, wholesome at times and just the right amount of challenging to feel like you accomplished something.